It’s easy to be biased when you’ve seen a band before. Saying that, Gomez are a band that never fail to please, and, like a fine wine, with all the clichés they seem to get better with age. Their support was from London based Diagrams, who did a great job of warming up the crowd with their upbeat tunes and tight-knit harmonies, showcasing their current EP Black Light. However, it was definitely Gomez that everyone had come to see, and they blew their support out of the water with what can only be described as an exceptional Cardiff come back after eight long years away.
Although it wasn’t a sold out gig, an unusual change in layout of the Great Hall made for a really intimate atmosphere. But perhaps what made this gig so special was that it was audience focussed: via their website, the band had been allowing their fans to vote for the set lists they wanted to hear in advance, so the majority of songs that they performed were chosen by us. In reality, this meant that not only were the audience really eager to hear it, but they performed at least one track from all 7 albums, showcasing the real diversity of their musical style over the last 15 years.
The set list that was picked was a really mixed selection, with some of their most popular tracks including ‘Get Miles’ and ‘Whippin’ Piccadilly’ but nestled in between rarely heard gems like ‘Machismo’ and ‘Tijuana Lady’. Drummer Olly Peacock’s solo at the end of ‘Get Myself Arrested’ was staggering, as was the total number of guitars lead guitarist Ben Ottewell managed to use through the course of the evening. But it was clear that they were thoroughly enjoying the performance, as a second impromptu encore with the house lights up proved. It is rare to experience a gig where even the band’s new material gets as good a reception as their classics, but its testament to the quality of their music and their ability that Gomez were able to pull this off so well. JRM
Photo: Paul Scott Thomas